Call to Belarusian Men to Refuse Recruitment to Fight for Russia in Ukraine

by Olga Karatch, Nash Dom

(02.03.2022) I am requesting you to support our campaign «No Means No», dedicated to sending Belarusian soldiers to the war in Ukraine on the side of Russia, executed by the regime of Aliaksandr Lukashenka. Today a mass mobilization of Belarusian men in the age from 18 to 58 to the Belarusian army is under way: draft notices are arriving demanding to appear on March 4-9, 2022. According to an unconfirmed report received from a Belarusian military, Aliaksandr Lukashenka is planning to urgently call up for military service about 35-40 thousand Belarusian men.

But Belarusian men do not want to go to the war! They are called to enlistment offices in large numbers, together with their families, they are deprived of their passports and mobile phones there, the relatives are threatened. Coercive and violent mobilization of Belarusian men is under way.

In our culture, desertion is not a very positive phenomenon.  In our patriarchal world deserters and the men who refuse to fight are not “real men”. Such gender stereotypes are a serious obstacle, as Belarusian men who survived terror, torture and certain symbolic “castration” by the regime of Lukashenka, are afraid that if they desert the army, they will encounter mass condemnation.

We have an agreement with the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine, and we have political support for those Belarusian soldiers who decide to surrender themselves to Ukrainians and desert the war, where they are sent by Vladimir Putin.

We call on to all the women of the world to make an appeal to the Belarusian men and tell them that today the real heroism and courage of Belarusian soldiers will be expressed if they refuse fighting on the side of Putin and Russia, refuse killing Ukrainian women and children, refuse to support Putin and his war in Ukraine. We should promote the message that such men are real men and heros indeed.

Can I ask you to make a short video with hashtags #NoMeansNo, #NoWar, @StandUpWithUkraine with an appeal to Belarusian men telling that you will support with all your forces their decision if they decide not to fight on Putin’s side? That this is real heroism nowadays? Please, put the hashtags, tag “Our House”, appeals can be made in any language, we have women in all the Belarusian diasporas who can translate them, then we’ll make Russian subtitles and spread the video appeals inside Belarus as wide as it is possible.

Can I ask you to ask other women to make the same video statement with the same hashtags? We will distribute any woman’s voice within Belarus.

Of course, the statements from men are always welcome too :-)

I want Belarusian men to hear the voices from all the women of the world, and I want them to make the right choice: avoid fighting with Ukraine for Putin.

Please, help us persuade Belarusian men, that it is stupid to die and to kill only because they cannot or are scared to say “NO!”

Thank you very much for your time and consideration!

Olga Karatch, Nash Dom, March 2, 2022

Keywords:    ⇒ Antimilitarism   ⇒ Belarus   ⇒ Russia   ⇒ Soldiers   ⇒ Ukraine   ⇒ War